Report by Aviva Marlene Grunpteter, NTD Israel
On May 1st in Tel Aviv, dozens of activists from the Israeli Liberal Movement honored the millions of victims who have died under communist regimes around the world since the October Revolution in the Soviet Union – when the communist party first gained power.
A prominent poster displays lines representing the number of victims of communist regimes – more than 100 million in total.
China has a number of lines symbolizing the tens of millions of people killed as a result of campaigns including the Cultural Revolution and the “Great Leap Forward".
Millions were also killed in gulags under the rule of Stalin in Russia. The great hunger in the Ukraine is also mentioned. Activists explained that Stalin robbed the crops from the Ukraine to feed the people in Russia.
The"year zero" of the Khmer Rouge also gets a line in the poster. This displays the more than 2 million people murdered in Cambodia, out of a population of just 8 million.
The demonstrators explain how were they murdered:
"Bullet in the head, deportation to camps, deadly tortures in dark basements and depriving people of basic food products either intentionally or as a result of “a new fortune distribution”.”
The Israeli Liberal Movement activists chose to protest at the exact same time and place as a parade held by Isreal's various socialist movements, including leftist organizations, workers organizations, and waving of the red flags in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.
[Boaz Arad, Israeli Liberal Movement, Co-Founder]:
"This socialist event means legitimizing the darkest regimes and their use of the most cruel methods in the 20th century. This is a system that in its essence deprives people of their humanity.”
Arad and the activists explain to passers-by that 100 million is merely an optimistic estimation due to the lack of transparency – one of the characteristics of communist regimes.
"I oppose the communist system which encourages sacrificing the individual in the name of the revolution's ideals.”
The activists emphasize that in Israel today there is a resurgence of support for the socialist system, which they find dangerous.
"In Israel there is an economic management that is irrational, and lately there's an aspiration to increase the central control".
On the lawn in Rabin Square young people gathered and received explanations about Communist rule in the Soviet Union from those who experienced it firsthand.
More than a million of Russian Jews immigrated to Israel from the Soviet Union in the 1990's, following the collapse of the communist regime.